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What to look out for when getting hair extensions

by Blue Horizons |

Actresses, singers and models have been using hair extensions for years to enhance their tresses, and as celebrity beauty secrets are more readily revealed through social media and glossy magazines, the use of extensions has filtered down to the general public. 

We've all seen examples of the good, the bad and the ugly hair extensions, but what's the truth? The whole purpose of hair extensions is to enhance your hair, and done properly there is no reason your hair would get damaged. Take a look at our advice to help you decide.

Thinking about hair extensions?

We've heard all the myths about hair extensions:

  • Hair extensions are bad for your hair
  • Hair extensions cause your hair to fall out and become thin
  • Hair extensions can cause bald patches

But is there any truth in it? The truth is that if you combine the wrong stylist and the incorrect type of maintenance then you are likely to have a bad experience.

Hair extensions have been subjected to a fair amount of negative media attention and sometimes have a bad reputation due to some technicians offering hair extensions without having any formal training or experience.

Let's take a look at the facts, hair extensions are good when:

  • You have researched what type of hair extension you are getting
  • The hair extensions are made from good quality hair
  • The application is carried out by a skilled and professional stylist

The truth of the matter is hair extensions should always look natural and should never damage your hair if they've been applied correctly and professionally.

A competent stylist should offer a consultation prior to fitting to determine whether your hair is suitable for hair extensions.

Step 1: what type (application) of hair extension is for you?

Pre bonded hair extensions, the facts:

Generally with the more discreet types of extensions; the strands are bonded to natural hair with various types of adhesives or if they are pre bonded then a machine is used to soften the bond:

  • With pre bonded extensions you can have thick, gorgeous hair for up to six months + with regular maintenance appointments
  • These pre bonded extensions can take up to four hours for application depending on the amount of strands needed
  • Depending on application techniques these extensions can be the most discreet
  • Easy to maintain following the correct aftercare advice

Nano ring hair extensions, the facts:

This is one of the newest and fast becoming one of the most popular hair extension methods. A very discreet method using tiny 2.5mm nano rings, meaning that the extensions are virtually undetectable in the hair.

  • Regular maintenance appointments (approx. every 6 weeks) enable the nano ring extensions to be 'rotated' using the same hair
  • The hair can be re-used repeatedly as long as it remains in good condition

Tape hair extensions, the facts:

Typically lasting up to 3 months (subject to maintenance), tape hair extensions are semi-permanent and very quick to apply. The pre-taped extension is sandwiched on either side of your natural hair:

  • Tape extensions are very easy to maintain and are washed and styled within your natural hair.
  • If fitted correctly hair can still be worn up in a variety of styles.

Clip in hair extensions, the facts

Clip ins are the most temporary type of hair extensions, they are very versatile and can be removed within minutes. Each weft has clips sewn into them to allow them to be attached to the root.

  • A good solution for those that don't want to wear hair extensions every day
  • A cost effective option – good quality clip in hair extensions can last over 12 months if cared for correctly.
  • Clip ins do require some knowledge, to know which colour and texture to buy, and how to match to an existing haircut.

Step 2: Appearance

Synthetic or real?

It's always advisable to go for human hair. Remy is 100% human hair that's cut from one donor – it's the healthiest hair because it's hand-picked strand by strand to ensure that all cuticles remain aligned and in-tact. Human hair extensions also blend into your hair much better than synthetic ones, and also you are able to treat human hair extensions as it's your own with heating and styling, whereas the synthetic version tends to get frazzled with heat. Click here to read more about Remy hair.

Choosing the correct colour

Choosing the correct colour is important – it is advisable to colour match your hair to the colour ring that all good hair suppliers will offer. Colouring of hair extensions can sometimes give unpredictable results – which is why a correct colour match is advised. Click here to see our colour chart.

Single or double drawn hair?

Single drawn hair contains hair of many different lengths and looks more tapered towards the tip than double drawn hair.

Double drawn hair will contain only a small percentage of shorter hairs, meaning that each hair extension strand will be thicker through from the root to the tip.

Step 3: Looking after your fabulous new hair

The aftercare of your hair extensions is incredibly important to ensure you get the most out of them. Hair extensions require a bit more special treatment, for example you won't be able to brush your hair like you used to – if you're not gentle then you can cause breakage. It's also advisable to invest in a wide toothed comb to prevent any matting at the roots.

There is no need to wash your hair every day, the more you wash extensions the more they dry out with everyday shampoo and conditioners, so using a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for hair extensions is recommended.

Don't style your new hair without protective products, just because the hair isn't yours it still needs to be taken care of so use heat protecting products before heat-styling your hair to prevent damage.

So, are you interested in rocking your own set of hair extensions? Hair extensions are a great option for instant length and volume, and can be beautiful if they are done well – just remember to book in a consultation with a professional stylist for the first time to ensure you get what's right for you.